It’s International Friendship Day, or, as it might more commonly be known, International Squad Day. For the uninitiated, your “squad” is your crew—those individuals who keep you hostage in group texts and appear in 90% of your Instagram grid. They are your partners in crime, your emotional shamans, your WebMDs IRL. The average “squad” is comprised of around 3-4 key players. Traditionally, this has been seen as a sufficient amount. However, a recently released study fromresearchers at the University of Rochester has announced that valuing the quality over quantity of friendships in your 20s can actually be detrimental to your health. In fact, they’re saying that having only a few social connections in the formative years of your 20s can have the same effects as smoking or excessive alcohol consumption.
So loling it up with a bunch of acquaintances over PBR at house parties can actually benefit your well-being later on in life? Pardon? According to Cheryl Carmichael, the study’s lead author, yes. “It’s often around this age that we meet people from diverse backgrounds, with opinions and values that are different from our own,” she says, “and we learn how to best manage those differences.”
On paper, this makes a weird kind of sense. Let’s consider the Taylor Swift model: she used to just be this baby-faced singer with a questionable penchant for over-curled hair and chandelier earrings. Add in an excess of friendships with the likes of Victoria’s Secret models, ingenue actresses, and cool girl musicians, and homegirl is looking fitter than ever and has landed herself a megababe DJ-turned-underwear model boyfriend. Coincidence?!
So forget all those green smoothies and kale chips—the next time you feel the urge to get healthy, tell yourself that texting a bunch of randoms to see what they’re up to this weekend will actually do more good than going for that 5K run (at least until your 30s, when the equation flips and the level of “intimacy and satisfaction” we derive from our relationships become the more significant factors).
Working out by going out—#squadgoals, anyone?